Grabbing a cup of coffee every morning has become an essential part of the daily routine for many workers around the world.
With so many varieties available and in increasing accessibility, demand for the steaming brewed beverage continues to rise globally. However, where exactly does coffee come from?
Where Does Coffee Come From?
While coffee cups are readily available from local coffee shops, the process from plant to cup is quite complicated. The coffee plant is typically grown along "The Bean Belt," a zone near the equator which provides the perfect climate for the bean to grow.
The chemistry of the soil, the weather (amount of sunshine and rain), and altitude also contribute to coffee production. These factors, together with how the cherries are processed after being picked, affect the variation of quality and taste of coffee.
For example, the popular Arabica, which makes up 70 percent of the world's coffee, grows best at higher altitudes in rich soil. In comparison, the Robusta can thrive in colder temperature and lower altitude.
More than 50 countries — including the United States — grow the coffee plant and supply coffee beans to the rest of the world.
According to the World Atlas, Brazil remains to be the top coffee-producing country with 2.59 million metric tons of beans contributed to the market. Next comes Vietnam with 1.65 million metric tons, Colombia with 810,000 metric tons, Indonesia with 660,000 metric tons, and Ethiopia with 384,000 metric tons. Honduras, India, Uganda, Mexico, and Guatemala make up the Top 10 Coffee Producing Countries.
Hawaii is the only state in the United States that contribute to the global demand for coffee beans.
Coffee And Climate Change
While people from around the world continue to consume coffee, production of coffee beans is threatened by the warming planet. As was mentioned, the coffee plant does not just grow anywhere; the weather and the chemistry of the soil contribute to the taste of one's morning cup of joe. With the changing climate, finding good coffee will become increasingly difficult in the coming years.
"The threat from climate change is real on our farm," said Masataka Nakano, a deputy general manager of Key Coffee Inc. in Japan. "As the difference between the rainy and dry seasons is becoming unclear, and the amount of rain is getting unstable, our crops are vulnerable to damage."
A report released in Proceedings for the National Academy of Sciences last year predicted a massive decline in coffee production around the world due to global warming. Regions in Latin America, suitable to grow coffee plants, could decrease to up to 88 percent by 2050.